BACKGROUND TO THE PROJECT


The foundation for the artists particular interest in this subject stems from his own recently deceased 103-year-old grandmother’s dresser. Michael is interested in how these constantly evolving and ever changing displays reflect the experiences, lives and values of their keepers. He began collecting photos of such dressers in the late 1990’s, however this new project allowed him the time to focus his research in these four particular counties and produce a new collection through public and social engagement.


His own grandmother died in February 2015 at the age of 103. She is aged 100 as she stands in the photo below and her dresser was an integral part of her life. In late October 2014 she became ill, using the use of her legs and could no longer sleep upstairs in her small, two-up, two-down, home in Ballygarrett, Co. Wexford. In November a local nurse called to see about moving her bed downstairs and as the kitchen space was so small, she asked for the dresser to be removed. ‘Like shite, no-ones touching my dresser’ was her response to this and with that she made the decision to go to the nearby Gorey hospital. It was here she decided to die and although she is gone, her dresser and the stories behind it still remain.


  

Michaels own grandmother, Jane Fortune, and her dresser Wexford (2012)

  

A woman’s dresser from Wexford (2010) and a man’s dresser from Wexford

 

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